Home » MBJ FEATURE » Apple ordered to pay $23.6M for using SkyTel technology

Apple ordered to pay $23.6M for using SkyTel technology

apple_rgbApple Inc. has been ordered to pay a Texas company $23.6 million for using without permission patents and technology developed in the 1990s by SkyTel, formerly based in Jackson and owned by now-defunct WorldCom.
Bloomberg News reported that patents developed for the SkyTel network and owned by Mobile Telecommunications Technologies LLC are valid and were infringed by Apple, a federal jury in Marshall, Texas, said.

MTel claimed Apple’s Airport Wi-Fi products and iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices with messaging used the technology.

MTel’s patents in the case were issued in the mid-to late-1990s and are either recently expired or nearing the end of their terms.

Mobile Telecommunications was a pioneer in wireless messaging in the 1990s, when its SkyTel 2-Way paging system was the smartphone of its day. Now the company is the licensing arm of closely held United Wireless, which co-owns and operates the legacy SkyTel network for use by first responders and doctors.

“The guys working back then at SkyTel were way ahead of their time,” said Andrew Fitton, chief executive officer of United Wireless.

— MBJ wire services

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